The devil's cave
The path heading to Ciamin-San Martino-Elva starts at the bottom of the hamlet of Cucchiales Inferiore. After 100/200 mt you will find, on the left, a deviation that in about 10/15 minutes by foot will lead you to the cave.
It is important to carry a powerful flashlight and to wear mountain boots for the external route, and especially for the inside of the cave, whose ground is wet and slippery. There are no major difficulties, and even children can access it, provided that they are accompanied. Especially for them, but for everyone, caution and compliance with these rules are essential to appreciate the beauty, but sometimes also the pitfalls, of the mountain and to experience the emotions it communicates.
Inside the cave the stalagmites rise from the ground, i.e. mineral formations with bizarre shapes that look like sculptures. From the vault, the stalactites descend downwards, i.e. limestone concretions that sometimes merge with the stalagmites creating columnar structures.
Many years ago, several legends spread to keep little mountaineers away from the cave when adults could not keep an eye on them.
Here is an example:
“Once upon a time there was a girl, victim of unrequited love, who spent her days dreaming and making herself beautiful to please the boy whom her heart had chosen. She was reproached several times by her parents, but managed, from time to time, to run away to seek refuge in the cave. She evaded everyday life to have a few moments of daydreaming, imagining a life next to the idea of him and their love that she had built. Idleness, however, dries up the will and weakens the strength of the spirit. So, one day, the girl found the devil himself waiting for her in the cave. She fled terrified, but in the hurry she slipped and fell down a cliff".
In the distant past, the surrounding world was restricted to a short range for children.
In addition to the devil of the cave, those who went too far, could come across the masche, the sarvanot, in "dando Rouo" (aunt Wheel), whom the children imagined as a big woman with a wide skirt, under which she hid the little ones she managed to catch. When she smelled or heard children, she magically came out of tiny slits in the walls, which the children looked upon with suspicion and from which they kept a safe distance.
(quote by Lucia Abello on "Stroppo told by the Stroppesi").